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It’s a streaming platform—with a new hook.
Although PewDiePie currently has nearly 94 million YouTube subscribers—he’s somehow still beating T-Series by about 300,000 subscribers, as of this writing—the Swedish gamer has been critical of YouTube on a variety of issues, including the advertising revenue model, how it polices extreme content, and the copyright system that’s in place.
On Tuesday, DLive struck a landmark deal to bring the world’s biggest YouTube star to its platform.
“I’m excited to start live streaming again regularly,” PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, said in a statement. “DLive is great for me because I’m treated like a real partner, just like all of the other streamers on DLive’s unique platform.
PewDiePie has had plenty of controversies of his own. His ties to the alt-right, intentional or not, have caused no shortage of negative press, and he’s engaged in feuds with female streamers that critics have called misogynistic.
This partnership represents something of a fresh start for both parties. One thing is certain: There will be no shortage of people willing to follow PewDiePie to a new platform.
Here’s everything you need to know about DLive.
What is DLive?
DLive calls itself a “disruptive live streaming platform,” and it has a unique hook. It was built using Lino, a decentralized blockchain that was founded in 2017. After Lino raised $20 million in funding, DLive launched in September 2018. According to Variety, it has about 30 employees.
DLive—which currently has 3 million monthly active users and 35,000 active streamers—also hosts a rewards ecosystem that can benefit streamers and those who watch them by using Lino Points. Lino Points are a type of digital currency that can be donated to content creators. Each Lino Point is worth $0.012, and can be acquired through DLive’s mobile apps or purchased via DLive.tv’s site using PayPal, Xsolla, or other cryptocurrencies. Content creators will receive up to 90 percent of the Lino Points they earn through the platform.
“DLive is a place where instead of competing against each other, it benefits creators to support one another. With no platform cuts, we incentivize everyone to create the highest quality content for viewers,” Wilson Wei, the co-founder of Lino Network, said in a press release. “PewDiePie has always been a fierce advocate for the value that creators bring with their hard work, time, and effort, and he believes in DLive’s vision. Our live streaming platform has the potential to forever change how creators are represented in this industry, and we’re proud to have PewDiePie help us lead this charge.”
How to watch DLive
You can find DLive at DLive.TV, or you can download it on Android and iOS devices.
When will PewDiePie live stream on DLive?
Beginning on Sunday, April 14 at 1pm ET, PewDiePie will stream once a week on DLive.
For now, it’s unclear how long PewDiePie is contracted to work with DLive or how much money he’s being paid to do so. Variety, though, reported he’ll be streaming on DLive for at least the next several months.
Is DLive better for live streaming than YouTube?
If content creators are looking for a platform that allows them to keep a much larger percentage of their viewer donations, DLive sounds like a great deal. DLive will hold back between 0.2 to 9.9 percent of the Lino Points earmarked for the streamer with that content creator taking home the rest. Compare that to YouTube or Twitch, which can take as much as 45 to 50 percent of a creator’s earnings through ads and subscription revenue.
DLive promises it won’t take its creators’ earnings for itself and said “that is never going to change.” The 9.9 percent that it is held back from the creators will “go to a pool that rewards people with Locked LINO Points for their contributions to the network on a daily basis,” according to the DLive website. DLive said the rest of the money that’s held back will go to “infrastructure service providers, application developers, like DLive, validators and the users who contribute to the network.”
Even with all the cuts it takes, it seems likely YouTube will continue to be the best way for a streamer to earn the most money simply because it’s so massive. But YouTube is under immense fire for all kinds of issues, and it’s understandable why some creators are fed up with the platform and could possibly be looking to make a jump somewhere else.
If DLive is looking to take over the spots held by YouTube and Twitch, which seems highly unlikely, nabbing PewDiePie is a great move for more visibility. But PewDiePie also has plenty of baggage, and it could be enough to overwhelm an upstart like DLive.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.